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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 11-17-2011, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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NWS 1983 320i WITH BAD GAS LEAK. WHAT TO DO?

When I am driving the smell of gas in the car is overpowering. I have looked for but been unable to find an obvious leak. I removed and bypassed the charcoal filter as it was old and rotting but that wasn't it.

The next time I filled up I realized I had lost about 2 gallons under the car. I looked to find it dripping down from what appeared to be the tank or a cover of the gas tank.

What I want to know is, is the big piece under the car that looks like the gas tank actually the tank or is it a protective cover to keep it from being damaged? Can I remove it without removing the whole gas tank? I suspect on the top of it there is some bad connection or leak as the car does not spill gas unless I fill it up.

Has anyone had experience with this?

Grant in Santa Monica
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you tried removing the trunk liner to see if there is an inspection hatch...
Also have a good look at the filler-neck and the vent-pipe ;-)
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like you need to remove your back seat and find the access panel on the left side, pull your sending unit and replace your O ring.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I got rid of my E21 ages ago, but I thought the gas tank was in two parts and there was a hose connecting those. That seemed to be the source of many leaks as I recall.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I remembered correctly . I have a page of the factory service manual showing the hose. check this first. PM me if you want a copy of the manual
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